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DMX over Cat5 and XLR

posted Apr 23, 2013 02:36:36 by taylorworthing
Hi all, new to the forums here. I have a Lighting DMX question. Have an event this summer I am hosting and want to set up some lighting for it. I am going to order the PC to DMX over Cat5 cable from that has been mentioned on previous threads and a light kit or two. I also have my hands on a couple of regular DMX dimmer boxes. I want to be able to tie them all together, so I was curious as to if anyone knows if this cable should work to tie the dimmers into the rest of the lights. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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8 replies
MarkBell said Apr 24, 2013 11:30:27
That cable is the right idea, but it's pointing the wrong way. The DMX output side is a receptacle like this, while the input looks like the cable you reference above. That cable is designed to take the output from a different DMX system and connect to the cat5 boxes. You want to go the other way, so you'll either need to replace the connector on that came or make your own.
taylorworthing said Apr 24, 2013 12:13:25
Could I just use a Female-Female XLR cable to patch from this cable to my equipment? Or a gender-changer like this? I am assuming the pinout is standardized.
taylorworthing said Apr 24, 2013 12:15:42
How hard would it be to make my own? Just take pins 1 and 2 from the RJ45 connector and solder the Cat5 to pins 1 and 2 on a female XLR?
MarkBell said Apr 24, 2013 12:17:34
Yeah, that should work too - pinouts are indeed standardized for DMX.
MarkBell said Apr 24, 2013 12:19:52
It's pretty straightforward, yeah. HolidayCoro uses pins 1 & 2 for DMX + & -, so it's a straight solder.
taylorworthing said Apr 24, 2013 12:30:57
I will probably try making my own then because I have miles of Cat5 and XLR connectors are about $3 as opposed to the $11 for the cable. According to the Wikipedia article on DMX512 which matches the pinout listed in the manual for my dimmers.

XLR-3 pinout
1. Ground
2. Data 1- (Primary Data Link) (Switchable to DMX+ on Some Controllers)
3. Data 1+ (Primary Data Link) (Switchable to DMX- on Some Controllers)

So my wire would go:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
| |
3 2 1
+ - G

Does this look right? Do I need to solder the ground to anything?

Edit: Formatting.
[Last edited Apr 24, 2013 12:36:46]
MarkBell said Apr 24, 2013 12:38:16
That looks right! I'd skip the ground connection though - it's not really needed and the ground loops can get wonky with the PC setup. Plus, since your other DMX dimmer boxes have their own AC power supplies (I assume), it's not really necessary.
taylorworthing said Apr 24, 2013 12:42:05
Yes the dimmers have their own power. Awesome, thank you for your help! I'll report back any failure or success.
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